Back to articles

The importance of social proof in ecommerce

The importance of social proof in ecommerce

Social proof has changed the way people research and purchase products. With so many options available, consumers rely on recommendations from their social networks and other online sources. This includes reviews, ratings, and customer testimonials.

When you’re shopping online, do you ever browse social media to see what friends are buying? If so, you’re not alone. A study by Twitter found that social proof is the number one factor that influences people’s purchase decisions. That’s why it’s so important for ecommerce stores to use social proofs on their websites. In this blog post, we’ll discuss what social proofs are and how you can use them to increase conversions to your store!

What is social proof?

Consumers who are uncertain about a purchase often look to others for advice, which is why customer testimonials and social media endorsements are so popular. Social proof has three principles at its core:

1. User Uncertainty

Shoppers want to see that others have had positive experiences with a product or service, prior to ordering themselves.

2. Follow the crowd

People are more likely to do what others do who they see as similar to themselves. This is especially true in a group setting where people share common needs, beliefs, or social factors.

3. Bandwagoning

Social proof relies on the idea that people follow the actions of others in order to make informed decisions. People with access to knowledge will feel they are making more informed decisions.

Does social proof work?

Social proof is a psychological phenomenon that occurs when people are unsure of what to do. When we look at a number of people to see what they’re doing in order to guide our own behaviour. This is especially true when it comes to making purchase decisions — we want to know that we’re making the right choice and that others have had positive experiences with the product or service.

How social proof increases conversions

When you shop online, you won’t be able to touch, feel, or see the items or services you’re thinking about purchasing until after you’ve made your purchase. As a consequence, written and visual social proof have become essential for ecommerce businesses to reach their target audiences. Vendors can then utilize social proof within their ecommerce marketing to inform potential customers buying decisions.


The example above demonstrates how Hu Kitchen use social proof to make to provide impartial advocacy to new potential customers.

Types of social proof

Different types of social proof can be more effective for different products and services, so it’s important to consider which will work best for what you’re selling. Consumers frequently seek social proof from a variety of places, some of which are more traditional, such as celebrity endorsements and experts, while others have grown in popularity with the advent of social networks and ecommerce sites like user-generated content and ratings and reviews. Here are a few examples of social proof:

Influencer Marketing

Teaming up with an influencer who has a large following or authority in your niche can do wonders for your conversions. People trust someone they admire and using and recommending your products, they’re much more likely to take the leap and make a purchase.

Expert Opinions

When individuals are unsure about their choices, they turn to authorities for guidance. This is especially true when it comes to knowledge-based decisions (insurance, mortgages etc) or big-ticket items (houses, computers etc). Brands seek to increase their legitimacy to consumers by featuring material from reliable experts in your field.

Customer Reviews

Customer testimonials are one of the most commonly used forms of social proof and for good reason. People love reading reviews before they make a purchase, and 92% of consumers say they trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. Reviews can be split into two types, first-party and third-party – more on this below.

First-party vs. third party reviews

The distinction between first- and third-party evaluations is easy. You may distinguish between first-party reviews, which are evaluations you posted on your own website, and first-party comments, which are gathered by the company for operational insights.

Third-party reviews are feedback and ratings collected on sites like Yotpo, TrustPilot or Reviews.IO. There are other third-party review websites available depending on your industry where you may register a listing and obtain reviews from real customers on that platform because they may be well-known business review websites from their perspective. Customer reviews can be added as global fields on a website. For companies selling multiple products placing reviews on product pages is the best approach.

Scarpetta customer review example

In the example, we see positive reviews for our client Scarpetta. By implementing schema markup user star ratings display within search, further enhancing social proof – along with organic CTRs.

Consumers will often view third-party review platforms more favourably which builds trust. Behind the scenes, these systems use order IDs generated by the CMS (content management system) to create ‘verified reviews’ – meaning real people, real orders that haven’t been modified, curated, or even deleted by the retailer in question (with the exception of reviews where profanities have been used).

Examples of social proof

Did you know that customers are 6 times more likely to buy a product if the d2c website contains verified customer reviews? This represents a significant improvement in the conversion rate. Below is a recent example of how we integrated Hu Kitchen customer reviews using Yotpo’s platform.


Inspiring behaviour change through visual experiences. Our digital design services ensure instant clarity and visuals that cut-through in a cluttered market.


Engineering intelligent solutions is what we do. Shopify experts, we have extended the capabilities of what’s possible through our suite of in-house software.


Accelerate what’s possible with media and strategy. Blending dynamic thinking with plain logic to deliver a digital marketing toolkit, tailored for growth.